No, 'The Walking Dead' Did Not 'Tone Down' Season 7 Violence After Public Backlash

No, ‘The Walking Dead’ Did Not ‘Tone Down’ Season 7 Violence After Public Backlash

The Walking Dead Season 7 has been in the news lately with reports that producers for the show have “toned down” the violence following the bloody premiere. But as it turns out, that report has been misrepresented following comments made at an NATPE panel on January 18.

As it turns out, that report was indeed false, Entertainment Weekly reports. Producers for The Walking Dead have confirmed that they did not tone down the violence for the second half of Season 7. As a matter of fact, fans can expect the same level of gratuitous violence that has been featured in every season of The Walking Dead thus far.

All of these reports that have been circulating in the media do stem from actual comments made by The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd when she was in attendance at the National Association of Television Executives conference in Miami. Hurd, as originally reported by Variety, made a comment at the conference that led people to believe that they had indeed toned down the violence for Season 7 on the episodes of The Walking Dead they were still in production on.

“We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence [in The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere],” Gale Anne Hurd said at the NATPE conference. “We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.”

But the two most well-known executive producers for The Walking Dead, showrunner Scott Gimple and executive producer/special effects artist Greg Nicotero, told Entertainment Weekly that Hurd’s comments are not true at all.

“The violence in the [Season 7] premiere [of The Walking Dead] was pronounced for a reason. The awfulness of what happened to the characters was very specific to that episode and the beginning of this whole new story,” Scott Gimple told Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t think like that’s the base level of violence that necessarily should be on the show. It should be specific to a story and a purpose, and there was a purpose of traumatizing these characters to a point where maybe they would have been docile for the rest of their lives, which was Negan’s point. But I will say again, the violence in the [Walking Dead] premiere was for a specific narrative purpose and I would never say that that’s the baseline amount of violence that we would show on the show. If we’re ever going to see something that pronounced, there needs to be a specific narrative purpose for it.”

Fans of The Walking Dead have shown outrage on social about the recent reports. It is safe to assume that many of the fans of TWD tune into the show for that specific reason, rather than to watch a show that does not include gratuitous violence. It is after all a show about a zombie apocalypse.

That is also something that Greg Nicotero wanted to address to fans of The Walking Dead as well.

“As brutal as that episode 1 [of The Walking Dead] was, it’s still part of our storytelling bible, which is what the world is about,” Greg Nicotero told Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t think we would ever edit ourselves, and I think — even after looking at that Episode 1 again — as tough as it was for people to watch, I don’t think we would have done it any differently. I don’t think we’ll ever pull ourselves back. There is definitely a difference between violence against walkers and human on human violence, but truthfully, we’re serving our story.”

The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of Season 7 on February 12.

[Featured Image by AMC]